Expanding Our Mission

reprinted from Issue 10, Spring 2010 of Frontiers of Medicine (PDF)

Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD
photo by Noah Berger

Health care reform has been an exciting topic in recent months, and members of the UCSF Department of Medicine have played leadership roles in working to improve our health care system. This issue’s cover story highlights just a few examples of the ways our outstanding faculty are helping to shape the way health care is accessed and delivered.

At the same time, the UCSF Department of Medicine has been coordinating its efforts to more effectively promote excellence. As I reported in the last issue, we have begun implementation of our strategic plan, with the ambitious goal of making the UCSF Department of Medicine the best in the country.

As part of that effort, the Department has developed a new mission statement. In addition to supporting excellence in patient care, research and education, our mission has expanded to include advancing public policy. In fact, our faculty members are already leaders in the development of policy at the local, regional, state, national and international levels. Our influence also extends beyond health policy, broadly affecting areas related to the well-being of individuals and entire communities.

Public policy is not a separate activity: it is interwoven into all aspects of our mission and professional activity. We are currently evaluating the ways we are already involved in public policy, and are determining how to further develop and support leadership in this area. We are also finding new ways to integrate public policy into our curriculum, helping to educate future leaders. We will strategize ways to share our public policy expertise at the local, national and global levels to influence the practice of medicine through the use of rigorously defined, concrete and measurable practices.

In short, we now have the opportunity to share our discoveries in patient care, medical education and research with a much broader audience. By explicitly including public policy in our new mission statement, we are re-committing ourselves to playing a guiding role in the public sphere. I look forward to working with you to improve the health and well-being of our communities and our world.


Talmadge E. King, Jr., MD
Chair, Department of Medicine

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